Ariel "MADISON" Strawbridge Clews
1996 - 2012
Madison joined our family in the fall of 1996 at the
age of three months. Our son, Michael (who will
soon turn 23) was only seven at the time. On June
15, 2012, the day of her death, Madison had been
with us for almost 16 years!
Madison the original snow dog - long before there was a boat named Sno' Dog.
Madison in the winter of 1998 - at the age of 18 months.
Madison at the age of 6 weeks - at the Ariel Kennels.
Nancy was basically a cat person, so she did a lot of
research before choosing a Norwich Terrier.
Madison certainly lived up to her reputation as
wonderful, affectionate, non-barking, very laid-back
member of the family. A watchdog she was not,
but living as we did near town, we didn't want a dog
that barked every time she heard a strange noise.
Madison came from breeder Fraya Katz of Hollis,
NH (www.arielkennels.com) who, after 18 years is,
I believe, still breeding Norwich Terriers - along
with Standard Poodles. Acquiring Madison was
almost as rigorous as adopting our son from New
Mexico! We had to fill out many forms and answer
lots of questions.
As a young dog, Madison was very enthusiastic.
We took her to puppy school so she could learn to
hang out with other (and larger) dogs – although I
don’t think she ever realized she was the smallest
dog in the group. We were constantly amazed at
her speed, it’s hard to believe that a dog with 6-
inch legs could out-run us all! She happily
accompanied us on 5-mile hikes on the Appalachian
Trail with never a sign of fatigue.
|Madison, with snow on her face, was the
inspiration for our PDQ power-catamaran “Sno’
Dog”, many of our boating friends called her
“Snow Dog”. She traveled with us on many
cruising expeditions. More than once, she was my
only companion as I took the boat from NH south
to the Chesapeake Bay where I would meet up
with Nancy. (Nancy didn’t like rough weather,
but Madison always faced it bravely).
Madison was the perfect size to fit in a soft
carrier; many times we took her on airplane
flights, as carry-on luggage she would fit right
under the seat. She never complained.
Last fall, at age 15, Madison began to slow down
a bit – but she was still up for at least one good
walk per day. This winter, when she showed
some signs of distress, we took her to the vet
who, after some tests, told us she was suffering
from end-stage liver failure. We thought she was
a goner, but with a special home-cooked diet and
some supplements, she was able to carry on
gamely for another six months.
But finally, and mercifully quickly, she succumbed
and the vet here in New Hampshire told us her time
had come. Sadly, we said goodbye as we took the
final steps to humanely end her life on June 15th,
2012. It was a tough day for all of us!
Madison in early 1998. A pretty scruffy-looking puppy!
Aboard our Rosborough 246, Mighty Mike with my
mother & father - in Florida, winter of 1998.
Our son Michael was 7 when Madison came into
our lives. Here they are aboard the Mighty Mike.
This is the photo that later came to appear on the
sides of our PDQ Sno' Dog. The picture was taken
in 1998 when Madison was less than two years old.
It's tough having 6-in legs when the snow is 18 in deep.
10 years ago, in the fall of 2002 at our (colorful) Hanover house - Madison was 6, Michael was 13, and I was 58!
Benie the cat joined us in 2002, they become best friends.
In the spring of 2006, we purchased a
PDQ power-catamaran. We chose a "cat"
for her speed and stability - she was
certainly no dog! So naturally, with a dog
who liked snow, and a cat that was no
dog, we named our new boat: "Sno' Dog".
Madison took to the Sno' Dog well - it was a good match. Many photos of the two together appear on SnoDogLog.
Madison keeping watch with my mother at the helm in 2010.
Click on photos to see larger version.
Madison's prefered boating position in recent years.
Madison looking a bit like an old lady - in April 2012. Her
sight and hearing were failing, but she could still smell!
Madison's last trip aboard Sno' Dog. Here, in May 2012,
we're headed through the St. Lucie Lock - enroute to
River Forest Marina, Sno' Dog's summer storage location.
This is actually our last photo of Madison.
It was taken on June 9th (just 6 days before her
death) aboard our newest boat, KELINA . But that's
another story - see SnoDogLog - June 2012.
It is with heavy hearts that we must report the
passing of our beloved "snow dog" Madison.
As a member of our family for almost 16 years,
we will miss our beloved "snow dog" Madison!